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Unique fall vegetables
Adobe Stock / Photo by Eulogia

5 Unique Fall Vegetables to Add to Hudson Valley Meals

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If you’ve had your fill of butternut squash and pumpkin this season, add these overlooked fall vegetables into your rotation instead.

Are you sick of squash dishes this fall? Although gourds are great in sweet and savory dishes thanks to their versatile flavors, we’ve had just about enough of the butternut squash soups and pumpkin spice lattes this year. As we transition into the winter season, we’re looking to these fall vegetables to spice up our favorite comfort foods and add new flavor to cold-weather dishes – just in time for holiday gatherings.

Beets

 

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Both loved and hated for their earthy flavor and aroma, beets are highly nutritious thanks to a whole host of essential vitamins and minerals. The root vegetable is also particularly good at increasing oxygen uptake in our bodies, effectively lengthening the time it takes to become fatigued, which makes it popular among athletes. Aside from their nutritional value, beets are revered for the vibrant color which adds a pop of red to any dish, from hummus to salad. FARM at Hotel Nyack makes use of the bright veggie in its roasted beet salad, combining organic beets, baby arugula, goat cheese, honey-glazed walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinegar to create the perfect winter salad.

Celery Root

Another root vegetable, celery root, also known as celeriac, is pretty versatile thanks to its mild flavor that has been described as a slightly sweeter version of the regular celery to which we’re accustomed. Celery root often substitutes for potatoes in dishes because of its lower carbohydrate count, which makes it a perfect candidate for keto diets. When cooking with the root vegetable, make sure to peel and cut the bulb to get rid of all the skin and dirt before roasting, pureeing, or blending it into soups. Hudson’s Talbott & Arding adds celery root to its potato puree to switch up the Thanksgiving classic this year.

Endive

 

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Belonging to the bitter-leafed chicory family, endive is a nutritious leafy green that’s mainly used in salads but is no stranger to being roasted or grilled to create a hearty texture. Although the crop can be grown year-round, it thrives in cooler seasons like spring and fall. Loved for its deliciously crunchy texture, endive is not nearly as bitter as other chicories and has a mild taste that makes it a great candidate for intense flavors like citrus and vinaigrettes. At Cucina in Woodstock, endive is the star of the show in a salad packed with pears, apples, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts.

Fennel

Among the more widely used fall vegetables is fennel, a flowering plant species in the carrot family. The delicious veggie has a fresh, aromatic anise flavor and can be eaten raw or roasted. Not only is fennel packed with flavor but also with nutrients like fiber and potassium that make it great for digestive health. If you’re looking to eat it raw, slice the bulb thinly with a mandolin before adding to salads with acidic dressings. For a cooked version, slice and roast the bulb to bring out a deep, caramelized flavor. L’inizio in Ardsley uses fennel to add crunch and flavor to its seasonal sausage stuffing.

Parsnips


As their appearance suggests, parsnips are root vegetables that are closely related to carrots. Rather than the sweet flavor of their orange relative, parsnips have a licorice-like flavor with a hint of spice that makes them more bitter. Parsnips are also rich in vitamins that support the digestive and immune systems, and they take well to many cooking methods, like most root vegetables. When picking them out, opt for the small, straight parsnips, as they are less woody and fibrous. Parsnips can be roasted like carrots or mashed like potatoes, but Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua makes them crispy to serve on the side of slow-braised short ribs.


Related: Support Local at the Hudson Valley’s Winter Farmers’ Markets